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NEORSD Experiences the Power of Renewable Energy

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The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) is starting to replace four multiple hearth incinerators (MHIs) at its Southerly Wastewater Treatment Center (WWTC), located in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio (Cleveland Metropolitan Area) with three new fluidized bed incinerators (FBIs). The plan is to replace the 46 year old MHIs with 3-100 dtpd capacity FBIs. Design work for this project, which started in 2006,did not include power generation with energy recovered from the incinerators. In August of 2008, NEORSD leadership determined that the facility should include energy recovery to produce green electrical power form the biosolids processed, at the recommendation of an independent Validation Panel. This directive was issued to fulfill the NEORSD's mission of protecting the environment and providing cost effective wastewater treatment for their stakeholders.

The Validation Panel consisted seven independent biosolids management expert that assessed the NEORSD's proposed long-term biosolids handling program for Southerly, including a fresh look at the incineration project as well as other options. The project was already in preliminary design for the shutdown of the plant's thermal conditioning system and construction of new dewatering and incineration processes. The panel confirmed the NEORSD's plan for biosolids handling, and recommended the integration of the green power facilities into the overall design.

With this change, the Southerly Renewable Energy Project was modified to include waste heat boilers (WHBs) to produce steam that would be used to produce electricity using a steam turbine generator. This modified work included auxiliary facilities including water treatment, condensate handling, and controls.

This paper summarizes the challenges, benefits, and “ lessons learned” in implementing the green power features of the Southerly Renewable Energy Project.
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Keywords: Energy efficiency; biosolids incineration; energy recovery; green energy production

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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